22 Free Yoga Lesson Planning Tips: Making Life A Little Easier For My Fellow Hard Working Yoga Teachers
I’ve been fortunate enough to have created a Drag & Drop Yoga Genie Lesson Planner that is used by hundreds of yoga teachers all over the world.
And the best part is that they share their yoga lesson plans.
By the time of my talk in April 2017, there will be over 2,792 shared yoga lesson plans (approximately 10 to 20 new yoga lesson plans are shared daily). Here’s what I’ve learned from downloading over 100 of the shared lesson plans.
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 1
I am so passionate about this first tip, that my entire talk may revolve around it. There is nothing more destructive to your class than using boring, complicated words. You could be the worlds most impressive Yogi, and be able to do every pose under the sun, but if you don’t release your inner poet, your class numbers will always be low.
Teaching with a poet’s heart (using imagery) is easy, quick and fun.
Here are the steps…
Go to my how to teach with a poet’s heart post.
You can get 100 index cards for £2 on Amazon.
Write Your First Card
The first imagery phrase on the how to teach with a poet’s heart post is “Backbends”.
On the front of the card write: “Backbends”.
On the back of the card write: “Feel each individual vertebrae of your spine saying goodbye and moving away from each other.”
Repeat Step 3
Repeat step 3 for all the yoga imagery phrases.
Look at the back of the card (“Feel each individual vertebrae of your spine saying goodbye and moving away from each other.”) and repeat it many times in your mind. Now look at the front of the card (Backbends) and see if you can remember the phrase.
Now do the same with the next card…and the next…and the next…and the next.
Before you know it, you’ll be teaching yoga with a poet’s heart.
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 2
6 Week Yoga Course Formula
Don’t reinvent the lesson plan every week!
I’m on my knees begging you.
That’s just a lot of hard work for no extra gain. Create one lesson plan and use that for six weeks, and if you have an uncontrollable urge to make changes, just change one or two things each week (e.g. a new new relaxation exercise). If you change too much each week your students won’t get a chance to learn the new sequence. This will be subconsciously annoying to them, and for some reason they’ll find excuses not to come to your classes.
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 3
101 Tantalising Yoga Lesson Plan Title Templates
The TITLE of your yoga class is a really important part of the lesson planning process. You’re heard of the saying: “Don’t judge a book by its cover“.
Ignore that saying!
Here are 101 Tantalising Yoga Lesson Plan Title Templates to help unleash your title creating creativity. Coming up with a tantalising title for your class will help weave a memorable theme into the class (see tip 4 for my yoga class theme case study).
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 4
One Theme Per 6 Week Course
Reread tip 2 (6 Week Yoga Course Formula) if you have a sudden, inexplicable urge to create a new yoga class theme each week.
Now read One Of The Best Yoga Class Themes Ever. It’ll be a short and sweet case study on how to create memorable themes for your yoga classes.
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 5
Yoga Teacher Networking
Teaching yoga is a solitary game.
And because of its solitary nature a lot of new teachers question their teaching ability. To remove doubt, connect with your heart and let go of trying to be the mythical perfect yogi. Network with other yoga teachers throughout the year. Go to yoga shows. If you’re going to the 2017 BWY Yoga Congress, come say hello. I’ll be giving two talks (on yoga lesson planning and yoga marketing). You could also go to other yoga classes, and yoga workshops.
It may take a bit of effort, but chatting and mingling with other yoga teachers is a brilliant way to grow as a yoga teacher.
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 6
One Question Yoga Quiz For Your Students
This one question quiz will instantly raise your students’ awareness of the benefits of yoga.
Gather everyone in a circle and say:
“What is yoga?”
A) Exercise Program
B) Meditation Program
C) Healing Program
D) All of the above
Listen to their responses.
Share your thoughts on what yoga “is” to you.
The answer is D. Yoga can be an exercise, meditation and healing program at once.
At it’s simplest level yoga is an exercise program which, when practised regularly will increase strength and flexibility in the body.
Because of the slow speed that positions are changed and the emphasis on static (Yin) exercise, many yoga classes put an emphasis on breathing and directing energy and thought to different parts of the body. This aspect of Yoga is where it most closely resembles a meditation program.
Yoga is a form of healing. It allows the increased flow of blood, which carries oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, greatly accelerating the healing rate.
Ask students to share what they feel yoga “is” to them. How has it helped their lives? This class share will help newbie students become even more aware of the myriad of life-enhancing benefits yoga has to offer.
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 7
Yoga Practice Tracker
The holy grail for all yoga teachers is for their students to do a daily yoga practice at home.
The sad reality, however, is that a “daily yoga practice” sighting is about as rare as a Big Foot sighting (part ape & part human creature that is said to inhabit forests in the Pacific Northwest).
That is why I created the Yoga Practice Tracker.
It’s a free download. Your students will love it.
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 8
Teach Tree Pose With A Poet’s Heart
One of the best ways to spice up your classes is to imagine you’re a yoga teacher poet (see tip 1) and have the courage to paint vivid pictures with your words. If you only learned one new yoga imagery phrase a month you’ll be astounded at the difference it will make to your students.
Here’s tree pose yoga imagery to get you started.
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 9
One Of The Best Yoga Themes Ever
The great thing about this yoga class theme is that it can be used in any yoga class, in combination with any other theme.
By using a simple prop, a glass of water, you will teach your students one of the greatest gifts you can give another human being. You’ll be showing them how to put away the stress they have carried during the day.
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 10
How I Created This Yoga Class Theme In Under 5 Minutes
Here’s a video showing me creating a yoga class theme in under 5 minutes. It may help you realise that creating themes for your yoga classes isn’t rocket science. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s quick.
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 11
Free Yoga Class Handouts
I discovered very early on as a yoga teacher that my students loved it when I came to class bearing unexpected gifts (yoga class handouts).
Over the past several years I’ve created 250+ eye-catching yoga class handouts for my students.
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 12
Create Yoga Class Handouts With One Click
Click here to create yoga class handouts effortlessly (you’ll discover the steps I used to create this PDF yoga class handout for my Hip Themed Yoga Lesson Plan with the click of a button).
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 13
10 Ways To Teach Bridge Pose With A Poet’s Heart
Imagine your shoulder blades have little magnets that attract each other as you extend your arms beneath your torso. Click here for the other 9 ways to teach Bridge Pose with a poet’s heart.
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 14
Discover How To Teach Backbends With A Poet’s Heart
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 15
Discover How To Teach Bow Pose With A Poet’s Heart
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 16
7 Ways To Teach Mountain Pose With A Poet’s Heart
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 17
How To Teach Staff Pose With A Poet’s Heart
For example if you choose “leadership”, talk about leadership while students are in staff pose.
You could say something like:
“Did you know that in most cultures the staff is an ancient symbol of leadership. While you’re in staff pose, consider what area of your life needs your leadership right now. Most people usually have at least one area of their life that needs attention.”
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 18
Use Yoga Stick Figures To Promote Yoga Classes
Create an eye catching A4, A5 or A6 yoga flyer to advertise your yoga classes. The Yoga Teacher Business Kit comes with loads of yoga class flyer templates in A4, A5 and A6 sizes. All you need to do is download one of the templates and edit a few details (e.g. name, location of class).
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 19
Use Yoga Stick Figures To Promote Yoga Workshops
Create an eye catching A4, A5 or A6 yoga flyer to advertise your yoga workshops. The Yoga Teacher Business Kit comes with loads of yoga flyer templates in A4, A5 and A6 sizes. All you need to do is download one of the templates and edit a few details (e.g. name, location of class).
I created chair yoga flyers using the nifty chair yoga stick figures within the Yoga Stick Figure Kit. If you like these chair yoga stick figures, you may fall in love with my Chair Yoga Workshop Kit.
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 20
Use Yoga Stick Figures To Promote Yoga Retreats
It took my graphic designer months to create all the 4000+ downloadable yoga stick figures within the Yoga Stick Figure Kit. It’s the largest collection of premium quality, downloadable yoga stick figures on the web.
If you’ve got the Yoga Stick Figure Kit, here’s an idea on how to use the yoga stick figures.
Create an eye catching A4, A5 or A6 yoga flyer to advertise your yoga retreats. The Yoga Teacher Business Kit comes with loads of yoga flyer templates in A4, A5 and A6 sizes. All you need to do is download one of the templates and edit a few details (e.g. name, location of class).
If you host yoga retreats, you may want to take a quick peek at my Yoga Retreat Kit.
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 21
Use Yoga Stick Figures To Create Yoga Class Handouts
Yoga Lesson Planning Tip 22
Use Yoga Stick Figures On Your Website
You could create a yoga logo for your yoga website using the Yoga Stick Figure Kit.
If you don’t have the time to create a logo, take a look a the collection of yoga logos with the Yoga Teacher Business Kit. You could use the yoga stick figures on your blog posts. For example, when writing a blog post about an asana such as Downward Facing Dog Pose, use a stick figure.
If you don’t have a yoga website, or would like your current one redesigned, take a little peek at TheBareFootWebDesigner.co.uk.